Posts Tagged ‘daily bread’

 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. Matthew 6:6 NKJV

Many of us grew up saying a set prayer. For example, the Lord’s Prayer, which is also found in Matthew 6. When asked how to pray, Jesus answered his disciples:

 In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
 Give us this day our daily bread.
 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
[d]For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen (vs. 8-12 NKJV- some texts eliminate 13).

And, so we have…for centuries. We teach it to our children. We say it together in church. Some of us are taught to say it daily.  It has become rote, something that rolls off our tongue the same as the alphabet song or the times table. 1×1 is 2, 2×2 is 4,etc.

A guest preacher a few weeks ago asked if we we truly believed what we prayed in the Lord’s Prayer. He spoke of the daily bread given to the Hebrews in the wilderness- the manna in Exodus 16. But his words pierced my soul.

As we turned to Matthew 6,  verse seven jumped off the page at me… And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words (emphasis mine). Is that what the Lord’s Prayer had become in my life? 

equilibrist-1831016_640Leaving my stressful job to become a freelance writer and editor, I knew in my heart that God would provide because I felt certain this was in His will for me. It was a matter of getting my brain on board. So I prayed. “God, I truly claim that you will give me my daily bread.” And that meant somehow, some way He would provide the exact amount I needed each month to get by, i.e. pay rent, have food, pay my utilties, and tithe. The basics. 

Last month, He did so in various ways – right up to the penny. This month, the amount came as a gift in the mail from someone who has been touched by my writing. She explained she sent it in obedience to what God lay on her heart. Again, the exact amount. She needed to give it as much as I needed to receive it.  Double blessing. God works that way.

What in the Lord’s Prayer do you need to claim as affirmation.  Is it daily bread, forgiveness, deliverance, or that God is in control forever? That His will will be done, that it will be on earth?

Whatever it is, pray that in the Lord’s Prayer. Really pray it, down to your toenails. Then claim it and see how God responds. Pray it in private, then see what He does in the open as a testimony to not only you but others.

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ID-10067177I stared at a freezer full of the same ol’ stuff I’d been eating for weeks on end. Veggie burgers, frozen vegetables, skinless chicken breasts.  I opened the fridge to the same stuff. Reduced fat this and that, no-calorie dressing, salad bags, zero-fat Greek yogurt. Sigh – Losing a pound or so a week on this healthy diet gets monotonous at times. I crave French fries, grilled cheese, a chocolate shake, Alfredo pizza, Mexican food. Lord, why does all the good stuff have to be so bad for me, so high in calories and ssoooo tasty? When I was younger I could eat it all and not gain an ounce.  I grumbled under my breath, grabbed a protein drink and some celery stalks, and slunk to the couch to read my assigned Bible passage.

Half way down the page, my mouth opened into a large “o”.

The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!”  (Numbers 11:4-6)

When God told them through Moses that pork and shell-fish were a no-no, did they complain as well? Possibly.

I’m no different. I can continue to pig out on fast foods and shell out my money on prepackaged meals, or choose to buy healthier, fresh food choices and exercise more. I can be thankful for what God provides from the earth for my nourishment, or crave the sugary, fatty, salty, and carb-laden man-made things that I can’t or shouldn’t have and grumble about it.

The Hebrews had herds of animals with them and money to buy grains and fruits as they wandered past other nomadic tribes in the wilderness. But did they consume them after the first were tithed to God? The BIble doesn’t say. It does say that God gave them manna –  the bread of the angels – to be their wholesome daily supplement. Each daybreak they were provided just enough for one day, except the day before the Sabbath when the Hebrews received two day’s worth of manna so they wouldn’t have to labor on their commanded day of rest.

What was God teaching the Hebrews? Two things. Rely on Him each day and He will provide what we need, but not necessarily what we want.

He wishes to teach me the same thing.  In my diet, as in every aspect of the rest of my daily life, I need to rely on Him to provide my needs.  I shouldn’t whine because I can’t eat or buy certain things. But unlike the Hebrews, I am still in Egypt.  In today’s pre-packaged, credit-happy world, it is way too easy to buy more than we make, eat three times a day what people used to consider an occassional treat, and waste more time on useless entertainment like Tv, video games and social media sites than ever before. How easily we can become enslaved!

I need my Lord, each day, to help me choose between what He wants to provide and what I want to grab or grumble about having.  Promised Land up ahead or stay in Egypt.

Maybe it would be easier if God isolated me from the world and gave me the food I should eat to lose weight each day at daybreak – just enough for that day.

Give me this day, my daily bread.. but, not the doughnut, Lord.

Nah, like the Hebrews, I’d probably grumbled about that as well after a few months.

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